Healthy Salads

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Kathy joins us again this week to share her thoughts about putting together a healthy salad.

Salads are a great part of healthy eating but it’s what you put on it that counts.  Here’s a way to ensure that your salad is healthy. First, you want to start with a decent size bowl.  This is where you get to add some volume and those important servings of vegetables.  Start off with lettuce, pick the leafier, greener lettuce.  Spinach is also a great alternative or addition.  Next, I always add extra vegetables.  Peppers (red, yellow, green), onions, carrots, cucumbers are just a few that I like to add.  Everyone has their favorites, add whatever you like.  I also like to include things with a little crunch, maybe some bite to it, whether it be jalapeños, banana peppers, or even some salsa.  Adding fruit is also very good. I find dried cranberries are delicious on a salad, so are bits of apple, oranges, grapes or pears.  For crunch; I like to add whole wheat croutons, break up some pretzels, or even add some nuts (walnuts, pecans, almonds, or peanuts). Adding  protein is also very easy to do;  whether you have chicken, tuna, or beans, you can get your daily protein in this way.  Try to stay away from cheese.  Cheese has too much fat for the amount of flavor that you taste.  Add as many vegetables as you like, but use the crunch part of your salad sparingly.

However, a good salad can easily go bad. Here is where so many people turn a healthy salad into a lot of fat and unwanted calories.  Of course, it is in the dressing.  So many people do not realize how much dressing is considered a serving size. If you don’t know, it is 2 tablespoons.  Take a look at the nutritional information on a bottle of dressing.  You will find that the majority of your calories come from fat.  Having one serving of dressing is fine, but you need to measure your serving.  The reason I say this is because I don’t think that we realize what 2 tablespoons really are.  Think of the dressing that you put on a salad.  Do you just pour it on without even thinking about it? Do you go to salad bars and just add ladlefuls of dressing?  I have watched people at salad bars putting 3 and 4 ladles of dressing on their salad.  That could be your total amount of fat that you need for the day!  It is important to pay attention to dressing.  My favorite thing to do with dressing, especially when I am eating in a restaurant, is dip my salad in the dressing.  This technique will allow you to get the taste of the dressing with every bite  don’t overdue it.  The secret is to just get a small amount on there, you do not want to scoop it.  Just a little dab will be enough.  After a while you get used to this and you may find that you want even less.  Also with all of the flavors that you have on your salad, you don’t really need lot.
Enjoy salads everyday but just be aware of what you put on them.  This could be the difference of some weight loss during the week to just staying the same.  A lot of fat can be found on a salad so just be cautious of what you have on it.

What are your favorite salad additions? Kathy is sharing her experiences from her weight loss. Miss the first two posts by Kathy?

Find them here:

Kathy’s Weight Loss Philosophy

Kathy’s Weight Loss Story

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